Filmmaker Joss Whedon has departed the planned Batgirl blockbuster because he just “didn’t have a story”.
The Avengers director switched allegiance from Marvel to DC Comics last year (17) when he was hired to write and shoot the superheroine’s stand-alone feature, but almost a year after taking on the Warner Bros. job, Whedon has quit.
“Batgirl is such an exciting project, and Warners/DC such collaborative and supportive partners, that it took me months to realize I really didn’t have a story,” he confessed in a statement issued to The Hollywood Reporter.
“I’m grateful to Geoff (Johns, DC president) and Toby (Emmerich, Warner Bros. boss) and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I… uh, is there a sexier word for ‘failed?'”
Warner Bros. chiefs have yet to name a replacement for Whedon, who came to their rescue last year (17) when he helped to complete reshoots for Justice League after original director Zack Snyder stepped down to mourn the death of his daughter.
Before walking away from Batgirl, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator explained he didn’t want a big Hollywood name to take on the titular role, the alter ego of Barbara Gordon – the daughter of Gotham City police commissioner and Batman associate James Gordon.
“I doubt it will be a (famous) name,” he told Variety last April (17). “This is somewhere where you go and find Batgirl and then you cast her.”
The character was first portrayed on screen by Yvonne Craig in the third season of TV series Batman in 1967, while more recently, Rosario Dawson voiced Batgirl for The Lego Batman Movie.
Alicia Silverstone also played a version of the superheroine in 1997’s Batman & Robin. The Clueless star’s character, Barbara Wilson, was the niece of Batman’s loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
– Cover Media0